Thursday, January 21, 2010

Endeavour crew rehearses countdown at KSC

Six Endeavour astronauts are suited up and headed out to launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, where they'll strap into their shuttle seats for a practice countdown.

The dress rehearsal is the centerpiece of three days of training for their planned Feb. 7 launch to the International Space Station, involving launch teams from Kennedy and the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The crew this morning donned their orange launch-and-entry suits at the Operations and Checkout building, where crew quarters are located, just as they will on launch day.

Around 7:45 a.m., they were scheduled to board NASA's silver Astrovan for the ride out to the launch pad.

There, they'll ascend in elevators to the 195-foot level and enter the White Room, the last stop before climbing through the orbiter crew compartment hatch.

The six person crew includes commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Bob Behnken, Kay Hire, Nicholas Patrick and Steve Robinson.

During this morning's Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, clocks will tick down to T minus four seconds around 11 a.m., after which the crew will practice procedures for aborting the launch after a main engine shutdown.

The crew plans to return to Houston on Friday. If the launch schedule holds, they're due back at KSC on Feb. 2.

NASA will hold at flight readiness review next Wednesday to set an official launch date for the year's first shuttle mission.

IMAGE NOTE: At Kennedy Space Center today, the crew members of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission walked out of the Operations and Checkout building before riding the Astrovan to the launch pad for a countdown dress rehearsal. Shown, from left to right, are mission specialists Nicholas Patrick, Bob Behnken, Kay Hire and Steve Robinson. The Endeavour crew is at Kennedy for training called the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. Credit: Mike Brown, Florida Today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Shuttle is finally working well, and flying safely. If we abandon it now, when we have nothing comparable, future generations will scratch therir heads in disbelief.